White Sox

Why did Quintana get the call over Axelrod?

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Why did Quintana get the call over Axelrod?

Dylan Axelrod has been sensational with Triple-A Charlotte. In 38 innings, he has an 0.95 ERA with nine walks, 40 strikeouts and only one home run allowed. He has experience starting at the major-league level, and he's done it with some success (3.08 ERA in 26 13 innings).

So why didn't he get called up when John Danks was placed on the disabled list?

It wasn't a matter of being ready -- Axelrod pitched Thursday night and easily could've been pushed back a day to accommodate his move to the majors.

The reason, though, would probably be that Axelrod doesn't throw left-handed. First and foremost, the Sox needed someone to take Danks' start against first-place Cleveland on Friday. The Indians are a left-handed heavy lineup, and Jose Quintana throws left-handed. He also held Cleveland scoreless in his only major-league outing, which spanned 5 23 innings in relief of Philip Humber.

Cleveland's left-handed batters own a .190.289.319 slash line against lefties in 2012, and overall as a team the Indians have a .662 OPS against southpaws. Against righties, the Indians own a .749 OPS, so going with Quintana could simply be a case of the Sox hedging their bets.

Quintana may have a tougher time in his second start, which would come against Tampa Bay, a team that has more success against lefties (.749 OPS) than righties (.736 OPS). But with this weekend's series against being the last crack the Sox get at Cleveland until the penultimate week of the season, beating the Tribe might take on some added importance.

And there also could be a chance the Sox option Quintana back to Triple-A (he was called up to Charlotte from Birmingham hours before being brought up to the majors) and call up Axelrod to start against Tampa Bay on the 30th.

But for now, Axelrod will stay with Charlotte.

The must-listen Nicky Delmonico White Sox Talk Podcast

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USA TODAY

The must-listen Nicky Delmonico White Sox Talk Podcast

While taking part in the White Sox hitters camp in Glendale, Ariz., Nicky Delmonico joined Chuck Garfien and Ryan McGuffey on the podcast to talk about his impressions of Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez. But that was only the beginning. 

Delmonico went in-depth about his first major league season, doing hot yoga this winter with Jake Burger, the one White Sox player he expects to have a big season in 2018 (the answer might surprise you), losing a big bet to Tim Anderson.

Plus, Delmonico helps us give away a pair of 3-day passes to Sox Fest and much more.

Listen to the latest White Sox Talk Podcast right here:

Is Luis Robert so good that he'll start the season at Double-A?

Is Luis Robert so good that he'll start the season at Double-A?

Just how good is Luis Robert?

Well, that's the problem. Us on the outside, we don't know exactly.

The White Sox obviously love him, willing to give him big bucks to come play a starring role in the rebuild. Rick Renteria raved about Robert last month at the Winter Meetings, getting White Sox fans all excited by hyping Robert's speed, fielding skills and power.

But as good as the scouting reports sound, is Robert really so good that he'll go from never playing a game in the United States to the higher levels of minor league baseball right away?

That eyebrow-raising possibility was floated Tuesday.

Robert unsurprisingly has plenty of confidence in his own abilities and told The Athletic's James Fegan at the team's hitters' camp in Arizona that his goal is to make it to the big leagues sometime in 2018.

But perhaps the more interesting comment came from Chris Getz, the White Sox director of player development, who said Tuesday that Robert could potentially start the season at either of the White Sox two Class A affiliates, Kannapolis or Winston-Salem, or even at Double-A Birmingham.

Robert is just 20 years old, and he's yet to play a game of minor league baseball in the United States after spending his teenage years playing in Cuba. In fact, his only action since joining the White Sox has been 28 games in the Dominican Summer League. He did fare quite well in that handful of contests, slashing .310/.491/.536 with three homers, 14 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and a sparkling 22-to-23 walk-to-strikeout ratio. But that's not really the point.

The White Sox are in no rush with Robert, or any of their highly touted prospects, for that matter. Not expected to compete for a championship in 2018, there doesn't appear to be any reason to elevate Robert to the highest levels of the minors so quickly without first getting him some experience in the lower levels.

Of course, Getz even mentioning the possibility of Robert starting the season at Birmingham should also show just how good the team thinks Robert is right now. So maybe Robert's major league dream for 2018 isn't as crazy as it sounds?